This year’s BIG Show was big indeed with a lot of must-see booths and new technology announcements. But there was one major theme that stuck with us (and something we touched upon briefly in a recent post): to compete in eCommerce, retailers need to think like a Digital Native.
Digital Natives, or those who have grown up with technology (including most millennials, as well as Gen Z), have different expectations than previous generations. This group is accustomed to shopping online and on their mobile phones – and they expect to be able to shop whenever, wherever and however they want. They also expect to move between channels seamlessly.
“…this segment represents the future of customer culture, where the act of shopping and identity formation is now one and the same.”
In his NRF session, “The DNA of the Digital Native Audience,” Lee Peterson, EVP of brand, strategy and design at WD Partners, explained that this segment represents the future of customer culture, where the act of shopping and identity formation is now one and the same.
As retailers try to better understand shoppers’ evolving behavior to avoid the shakeout affecting many established retail brands, they should innovate their brand to appeal to the Digital Native audience and remain relevant. This includes a digital-first strategy that encompasses in-store and online experiences, a strong mobile presence and innovation at every turn.
According to WD Partners, “brands must take a giant step back, and let go of all the old ways and models once used to delight and attract previous populations. They must form a new definition and understanding of the coming wave of shoppers.”
This is where self-driving commerce can become a retailer’s ally. By pulling back on the time and resources spent managing infrastructure, they can devote more time to innovations that address the needs of Digital Natives, who – by 2020 – will hold TRILLIONS of dollars of purchasing power. Self-driving commerce will enable retailers to embrace the disruption of and engage with this increasingly important audience.
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